2014 have been quite a year ending it with a simple trip to the land filled with big opportunities. A place where small scale is never an answer. A place where inspiration is all around and world records towers up from the ground like life size trophies. A place so dry, oil is cheaper than water. I have always dream’t of making my way to this city, a city filled with full scale art where nothing is ever compromised. Being deemed second is never a choice. A forward looking city which never sleeps. Finally, a destination I have been dreaming of going ever since I made my step into the design industry. Nothing beats a vacation filled with things I loved all my life, amazing buildings and interior designs. What makes it even better is that I get to experience it all with my best friend – I’m sure you know who by now.
Note: This is a journey you will want to follow throughout its entire eight part series as it only gets better and better till the end.
So here, the ultimate journey of 2014 begins.
Malaysia Airlines flight 162 safely arrived at Dubai International Airport at 18:35 hrs. Its 16 degrees out and yet the city airport is still buzzing with people commuting and making their way to their destination. No doubt it is one of the busiest airport in the world. Whilst everything well planned, we were fetched and sent off to our hotel for a good nights rest. Reload, Recharge, Reenergize. Its the beginning of an amazing trip. Still overwhelmed by the fact that it was my fist time out of Asia, the first gust of cold wind that blew through my face was filled with my dinner, sand. But then again, it was like none you have ever tasted back at home.
Culture. First mode of of action. Understand the history of the city, the culture, the development and the cities plan for the future. What better place to gain all that knowledge by going to the humble Dubai Museum. It looks a little run down but it is made to look like a building in the early days of Dubai. Located in the heart of old Dubai along the creek, what you see in the museum, reading the history, admiring the sculptures, you can really see the strong influence of culture around old Dubai district where the usual trade and using the dhow to cross the river is still actively practices. A place where modern tourism have not taken charge fully and you are still able to see the development on going in and around Dubai museum. At 3 Dirham, it is worth the visit.
Textile Shopping. I am no a big fan of heavy shopping while on vacation. That’s why I prefer to get it over and done with early and only designate a short period of time doing so. But I got to be honest, textile shopping in old Dubai district is Heaven on Earth for them who seek great deals and quality. Its just like Thailand, just a whole lot more glitzy glam. With all the Arbaya for the ladies and Jubahs for the gents, you will be spoilt for choice over at Naif souk. One of the most popular textile souks in Dubai. I must say, the prices can really go down low when it comes to bargaining. Just try to not eye down on a single product unless if you are really in love with it.
Gold Shopping. Well after over-shopping at the textile souk, it is a must to drop by the gold souk. Named Dubai City of Gold, it is one place you would want to visit if not buy gold. Some might have trust issues when it comes to buying at such a place where really, it feels like a almost wet market situation. But frankly, if you can pin down one you trust, there is surely a group of people there in that shop shopping for gold just like you. Make sure you know the current market rate (displayed on digital screens within the public circulation area of the souk). And remember to bargain. Buy only you have a good deal. And if you are keen to get a gold bar, just for your information, they only accept cash and no credit cards. Just like you, they might have trust issues.
Diera Wet Market. You will never fully understand the city until you shop like the locals. We headed to the market to get some fruits to munch back in our hotel rooms. Yes we still do practice healthy diet apart from all the kebabs and roasted chicken and Biryani. It is quite an experience not only just buying but looking at the way they sell their daily means of income. The red meat, the vegetable, the fruits. Even though it feels nothing like home, a little bit more modernized when it comes to machinery but I must say, it is a good experience just entering such places tourist rarely ends up at. But I am sure you know, if I take the metro around Dubai, it would definitely be a Gold Class ticket if not a taxi.
That’s all for part one of my Dubai journey, it is obviously not the most exiting part yet but definitely the most essential part to get in the mood of an Arabi. Do watch out for my next post in the coming week.